It is essential to encourage children to explore different areas of interest while keeping them positively engaged during the adolescent years. Cayman is fortunate to have access to a wide range of free and low-cost programmes geared toward adolescents which can be found below.

Extended After-School Programmes

The Ministry of Education sponsors extended after-school programmes for public primary and high schools in every district. The programmes are free, operate from 3pm to 6pm weekly and include a rotating range of activities such as basketball, football, cricket, homework club, swimming, automotive workshops, archery and track and field. Transportation is provided by the school. Contact your child’s school to learn more.

Sports

Cricket

Cayman Cricket organises competitions from May to June for primary and secondary schools (for boys and girls) and there are youth training sessions on Saturday mornings. Tel: (345) 925 7921, or email: secretary@caymancricket.ky.

Baseball

For over thirty years, the Cayman Islands Little League, operated by the YMCA of the Cayman Islands has continued to provide children aged 4-17 the opportunity to learn and develop skills in baseball and softball. If you are looking for a safe environment emphasising teamwork, good sportsmanship and learning the art of competition reach out to info@littleleague.ky, visit www.littleleague.ky, or call (345) 916 5643.

Football

The Cayman Islands Football Association is in the advanced stages of developing a Grassroots Programme for kids up to twelve years in each district. The programme aims to build a close relationship between the football clubs, youth national teams and parents, and to identify and help to address the needs of the families and children involved. For further details email secretariat@cifa.ky or call: (345) 749 5775.

Academy Football Club provides opportunities for families from different socio-economic backgrounds on a case-by-case basis by accepting assistance through fundraising and volunteering time in lieu of fees. Contact Virgil Seymour of Youth Development at Tel: (345) 925 5032, email: academysportsclub@hotmail.com, or visit www.academysportsclub.ky.

Karate

Students can try a free week of classes at Cayman Associated Schools of Karate (C.A.S.K.) at the Kings Sports Centre. Adolescents may be eligible for scholarships or financial assistance and can contact the Chief Instructor Greg Reid directly to enquire at Tel: (345) 925 3367, or visit www.caskcayman.com.

Rugby

The Rugby Club in South Sound runs a well-established programme for students up to the age of eighteen with yearly membership fees of CI$100. Both girls and boys are encouraged to come down. Contact Caroline Deegan for more information at Tel: (345) 525 6743, email: caroline.deegan@caymanrugby.com, or visit www.caymanrugby.com.

Basketball

After-school basketball training is available through the Cayman Islands Basketball Association for students up to 16 years of age. Practice takes place on Thursdays and Fridays from 3.30pm-5.30pm at a cost of CI$10 a month. There is also a onetime payment of CI$25 for a team shirt which is worn at every practice. Tel: (345) 916 5083, email: info@caymanbasketball.org or visit www.caymanbasketball.com.

Netball

The Cayman Islands Netball Association (CINA) has a junior league and games are played throughout the year for under-12s, under-14s and under-16s. A membership fee of CI$5 is made once a year. Lucille Seymour is the president of CINA and can be contacted on Tel: (345) 916 1944 or email: caymannetball@candw.ky. For more information, visit www.caymannetball.com.

Skateboarding

The Black Pearl Skate Park and the Cayman Islands Skateboard Association has grown the park from a fledgling after-school programme into a bustling centre of activity for a diverse cross section of Cayman's children and teenagers. The dynamic course can be accessed for a daily fee of CI$7.00 and consists of beginner, intermediate and expert ramps and covers 62,000 sq. ft., making it the largest skate park in the Caribbean. For more information visit www.blackpearl.ky.

Personal Development & Leadership

Big Brother Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands is part of an internationally known youth mentoring programme which serves children from ages 8-16 years old. Each child, known as a Little, is matched with an adult mentor, known as a Big brother or Big sister. The Little and their Big meet regularly, with professional support provided by BBBS staff. Bigs act as a friend and role model for their Little, helping them to achieve their best potential. For more information, Tel: (345) 326 0610 or visit www.bbbs.ky.

Rainbows, Brownies, Girlguides & Rangers offers girls and young women the opportunity to discover, grow and develop life skills while making friends and having fun! Contact Girlguiding Cayman to find out more about the different programmes.

The Cadet Corps Cadets instil life skills and high standards of conduct through challenging, military-style activities. The programme offers a wide range of activities including drills, field craft, adventure, navigation, first aid, music and waterbased activities which could result in BTEQ Level 2 qualification and/or honors in Duke of Edinburg Awards Scheme. They accept boys and girls from the ages of 11-17 and they have full-time members of staff but they are also always looking for enthusiastic volunteers from a cross-section of the Caymanian community. For further information they can be reached by phone at Tel: (345) 946 9810, email: cadetcorps@gov.ky, or visit www.cicadetcorps.ky.

The TAYA Lounge, run through the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre (Email: taya@cicc.ky), offers a supportive environment for at-risk adolescents to develop life training skills, connect with peers and utilise the amenities. Visit www.cicc.ky for more info.

The YMCA's Counsellors-in-Training (C.I.T.) programme is offered to youth aged 13-17 years and runs during school breaks. Teens gain important leadership skills and experience, while learning more about the Y's core values, making friends, building confidence and having fun at the same time. The programme is free for participants and requires an application and a successful interview. Call (345) 926 9622 or visit www.ymcacayman.ky for more information.

The Scouts Association is a non-formal educational programme which encourages the holistic development of boys mainly through enjoyable, outdoor activities. From the BeaverScout programme (6-8 years) to the Cub Scouts (8-11 years) to the Scouts (11-19 years) boys will enjoy developing vital skills and earning badges. Groups meet weekly. Call (345) 949 1515 or pay them a visit at the Scout Headquarters on 34 Middle Road, George Town.

Arts & Culture

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands runs an afterschool Art Programme for ages 5-17. The classes are sponsored by Walkers and are free to attend. For more information visit www.nationalgallery.org.ky or email: education@nationalgallery.org.ky.

Time to Spare

Devoting time to a charitable cause is a valuable way to teach adolescents a sense of community responsibility. Cayman is very fortunate to be home to a large number of non-profit organisations and charities that assist different groups in need across the Islands.

The Cayman Islands Humane Society (Tel: (345) 949 1461 or visit www.caymanislandshumanesociety.com) is always looking for volunteers and is a great way for adolescents to get active through dog walking or helping with pet grooming and animal care.

Church Groups

Most churches in Cayman offer a Friday night youth group which are very popular. They provide a supportive environment for your adolescent’s spiritual development and encourage teenagers to actively support their congregation. The Cayman Islands Baptist Church (Tel: (345) 946 2422) boasts one of the strongest youth followings and their group often also participates in interesting field trips. Visit www.cibaptist.ky for more information.